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ESA Program for Acceptance of Retrofitted Luminaires

Energy efficiency awareness and legislation are driving an increased number of lighting retrofits and field conversions to more energy efficient sources of lighting. In the past these retrofits tended to be a simple swap of one type of fluorescent system for another, but now they increasingly involve much more complex technologies including LED equipment. When these complex retrofits are made, it alters the original lighting equipment to such a degree that the lighting’s original product approval is voided.

UL has issued a warning about potential hazards of improperly installed and uncertified retrofit lighting kits. View the warning here.

To address certification and potential safety issues, ESA has developed a program for inspection of such projects. The Program is supported by requirements of Ontario Electrical Safety Code Rule 2-106(5): “When installed electrical equipment is retrofitted with a retrofit kit and the installation conforms to the requirements of the inspection department, the equipment is deemed to be approved

The Program was launched on November 25, 2014 and is outlined in the Overview of the Program and Program Guide below:

Overview of the Program

ESA Program for Acceptance of Retrofitted Luminaires


Program Update Effective October 13, 2016

The program has been updated and the following changes are effective October 13, 2016:

  • The Retrofitted Luminaires Notification Form has been simplified
  • T12 to T8 ballast replacements are now part of the Acceptance of Retrofitted Luminaires Program and must be filed on the Retrofitted Luminaires Notification 
  • The Certificate of Inspection has been revised to include a statement that the installation is compliant with the requirements of ESA’s Acceptance of Retrofitted Luminaires Program

Program update details are available here:

Program updates as of October 13 2016



A Notification is required for each luminaire retrofit project site.

When a luminaire is retrofitted, a luminaire is no longer approved. The Program will accept retrofitted luminaires as part of an ESA inspection if:

  • An approved retrofit kit is used; and 
  • A pre-assessment process is completed.

If an approved retrofit kit is not used, the retrofitted luminaire is required to be re-approved by field evaluation or certification.

The pre-assessment process begins with completing a Retrofitted Luminaires Notification Form. The Notification Form will help installers determine if the selected retrofit kit is suitable for the luminaire(s) to be retrofitted and provide assistance to ESA in reviewing the retrofit project.

Retrofitted Luminaires Notification Form

Retrofitted Luminaires Notification Form

The form is available in fillable pdf or Excel version and can be accessed in the ESA Notification Forms section.

It must be completed and emailed or faxed to ESA.
FAX: 1-800-667-4278

A Notification for Retrofitted Luminaires projects cannot be submitted over the phone or on-line.  Incomplete Notifications will be returned to the Applicant. A wiring Notification will not be opened until the Form is fully completed and resubmitted.

For retrofit projects with more than 50 luminaires per site, ESA will require the following additional information.

  • Specification sheets for all types of retrofit kits or devices that will be installed;
  • Installation instructions for each type of kit; and
  • Data confirming Canadian approval of the kit (i.e. copy of the certification record or Certification Control number).



An additional fee for pre-assessment may be incurred, depending on the size of the job, if an installer is a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC), and/or if the LEC participates in the Authorized Contractor Program (ACP).



Some Frequently Asked Questions are available below:

ESA Program for Acceptance of Retrofitted Luminaires – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


If you still have questions please contact ESA’s Customer Service Centre at or call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233).